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THE COFFEE GUY - INTER ISLAND ESPRESSO
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The Coffee Guy has geared up for South Island expansion – and has its sights on Australia, too
It's life in the fast lane for The Coffee Guy mobile espresso franchise. From just one outlet in January 2006, there are now 44 and counting. While the majority of those are in the North Island, the recent appointment of Robbie and Christine Brown as South Island master franchisees signals the company's determination to bring their unique blend of convenience and quality to South Islanders too.
A regular visitor to Christchurch these days, franchisor Richard Karam doesn't hold back from showing his enthusiasm for the future of The Coffee Guy south of Cook Strait. ‘We have tremendous faith in Christine and Robbie's ability to grow the South Island network. The fact is, our low entry cost and profitable business model mean it takes hardly any time for The Coffee Guy to gain a foothold wherever it sets up. Christine herself is a prime example; in 2007 she left her job in banking to come on board as our first franchisee in Christchurch and it went so well she has since been joined by husband Robbie.
‘Now we have five franchisees in Christchurch, one in Ashburton, one in Dunedin, one in Nelson... whenever I look at a map of the South Island, all I can see are opportunities going begging in places like Invercargill, Queenstown and Wanaka. Then there are centres like Timaru, Oamaru, Kaikoura, Blenheim, not forgetting the West Coast. With around 10,000 people, Greymouth definitely has potential. Darren is currently our only Dunedin franchisee but there's room for more there, too, and we're looking at ways of creating a new model for smaller areas too - watch this space. And yes, we still have North Island opportunities available.
‘This means that there are huge opportunities for new franchisees, all of whom will be covered by our minimum earnings guarantee. That's in return for a one-off franchise fee of just $35,000+gst including all barista training and an exclusive territory. The only additional item is a custom-fitted Suzuki espresso van, which can be licensed, purchased outright or financed on very favourable pre-approved terms.'
As a former banker, new South Island master franchisee Christine Brown says, ‘I know that banks often look more favourably on someone starting up a franchise than they do on someone starting a business from scratch. A good franchise offers the security of well-laid-out business plans, strong marketing and immediate business. Those are qualities The Coffee Guy has proven time and again, and we offer the added benefit of a turnover guarantee, too.' As for the qualities essential to be a successful franchisee with The Coffee Guy, Christine says, ‘The most important common denominator is to be a "people person" with good organisational abilities and punctual habits. Our customers in workplaces everywhere soon come to rely on us for their regular "fix".'
The Coffee Guy's existing line-up of franchisees, which includes everyone from former hairdressers to sales people, proves that no experience is necessary. ‘Our operational systems are so clear and easy to understand that there's no barrier to getting started,' explains Richard. ‘Each franchisee receives a full week of in-house training followed by on-the-road support for the first two weeks with one of our on-site trainers. Besides being excellent baristas, trainers have equally good sales skills and know who to call into and just what to say to help the franchisee build an immediate and regular customer base.'
And now The Coffee Guy's trainers are learning to talk with an Australian accent as the Kiwi franchise takes quality coffee to the other side of the Tasman. The pilot operation hit the streets of Brisbane in January and, while Richard is careful not to reveal any details about how the concept has performed so far, the flicker of a smile is possibly a giveaway.
‘Australia is a big country and to ensure our franchisees receive the kind of support we've always provided here, we need to establish an effective and workable expansion strategy,' he says. ‘In the South Island we are testing our experience and educating ourselves in replicating our support structure a little further from home. We are very much a people business and it's vital to have a local team getting out there, meeting and mentoring existing franchisees, interviewing potential franchisees and providing day-to-day support.
‘Of course, we won't be expanding the franchise in Australia until we've put in place all the necessary systems, protocols, manuals, checks and balances to protect the brand in New Zealand and accurately reflect our business ethics, company ethos and the special relationship we have with The Coffee Guy franchisees. But once we're happy that's all in place and profitable, we'll be able to offer opportunities throughout Australia too. For now, though, it's Mainlanders first. Give me a call and find out more.'
This advertorial is taken from Franchise New Zealand magazine Volume 18 Issue 1
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This material is copyright © Franchise NZ Marketing Limited, Franchise New Zealand ™ magazine and Franchise New Zealand On Line . While it may be downloaded for personal use, no part may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without the specific written permission of the publisher.